The credibility of marketing lies in establishing the message as an expert opinion and giving prospects a reason to pay attention. The above aspects will be possible if the marketing strategies are based on cultural aspects of the customers. The delivery of informative messages that highlight the cultural aspects as well as the prospects of buying the goods can increase customer retention as well as new customers. According to Larry Chambers (2001), credibility marketing based on cultural aspects of customers can turn prospects into willing volunteers that seek the items offered by the company. The important aspect inherent in the above strategy is to increase the number of customers that read the marketing message. The increased number of prospects, as well as customer, turned prospects can be hiked by increasing the number of customers that read the message. The next aspect is to consider the way of delivering the message. There are many ways that marketing people deliver the messages. However, the importance of conveying valuable information by the message is more important than the way the marketing people deliver the messages. The customers read the messages when they reflect their own cultural perspectives, and that message should convey important information about the product to which the marketing is being done. At this stage, the consumer turns a prospect to the product, and then he inquired directly or indirectly about the product. When the product information, as well as other details about services and others, satisfies the prospect, then he/she will come closer to be a customer. At last, when the price satisfies the prospects, they turn the customers for the product.
In addition to the information conveyed by the message, technology also plays a crucial role in marketing. The thinking of the public regarding the image of products, services, competition, industry, and media that covers them. According to Marconi Joe (2000), planning and budget purposes, as well as research and development, virtually joined one term, thus increasing the importance of technology in marketing. In his book, ‘Future Marketing: Targeting Seniors, Boomers and Generations X, and Y’, Marconi Joe assumes that upon completion of the research phase, the new or improved product message would be developed and presented that enables and compels the use of technology. The technology helps in doing research for the development of the product as well as marketing technology. One such important technology is an Internet technology that has eclipsed the excitement typically lavished on the actual development phase of the research and development process. The proliferation of thousands of new websites made the electronic stage for the delivery of the product message to prospects as well as consumers. The use of technology in marketing makes the strategies more sophisticated in nature, thus reaching the consumers that depend more on technology. Hence, enabling the consumers to acquire information and analyze the product using Internet technology can increase the prospect of enhancing the customers’ capability of knowing more information about the product. 2
Now coming to the loyalty schemes, according to Eechambadi Naras (2005), quotes about the executives’ difficult task of responding to customers’ needs rapidly. As loyalty schemes are one of the important aspects that demand the rapid response of the marketing executives, the preparedness of the marketing strategists will help the company in announcing the loyalty schemes according to cultural aspects of the customers. Naras quotes about the changing market circumstances that result in making organizations incapable of responding in a rapid and agile fashion. Consequently, the execution of the new strategies will be poor. Hence, the organization should be agile and should take rapid action for the implementation of loyalty schemes that are in line with the culture of the customers of the area in which the company is marketing the product. Naras even talks about the situation that demands not only advertisements but a creative approach to attract customers. Consequently, the discussion leads to the functional unit that influences the customer, and loyalty schemes may arise in this context. Naras talks about creating powerful and engaging connections with customers, which are nothing but loyalty schemes that can align the enterprise with the markets. The cross-cultural aspects arise in this matter, and in the book ‘High-Performance Marketing: Bringing Method to the Madness of Marketing,’ the author mentions the loyalty schemes indirectly by talking about encouraging people to improve organizational alignment. The important aspect that aligns the organization with the customers is the understanding of customers’ culture by the company and offering loyalty schemes accordingly. However, the author talks about the lack of wherewithal for the company that can pull the united fashion for the purpose of meeting certain objectives. As the core initiative of any company is to acquire and to increase the customers, the organizing the relation between the company and customers according to the challenge mentioned above. 3
As the cultures change from country to country and even from an area to area in some circumstances, the marketing for a region in that region from that region is important in framing the marketing strategies that involve cross-cultural perspectives. Hence it is important to quote Krosier Keith’s (2006) book that talks about rapid growth, technology, and market intelligence that enable product promotions that are nearer to the hearts of the customers as the strategies consider the cultural perspectives of the people. Krosier Keith quotes that the framing of the marketing strategies with cross-cultural perspectives needs the gathering of market intelligence. As there is the development of the internet and the rapid growth in the economies of many countries, loyalty schemes can be combined with the technology strategies of marketing. Hence, Jun Yu (2006) opines that technology, when combined with marketing strategies, can enable the companies to reach a vast number of customers in less amount of time. In addition to that long history of catalog marketing also helps in the fast acceptance of virtual transactions, when the strategy involves the culture of the people in which the company is marketing its products. The cross-cultural strategies regarding marketing can be more powerful if they use the internet route as mentioned in the book ‘Marketing to China in China and from China’. The author of the book talks about focusing on the internet route for marketing strategies for a particular country (in the context of that book; China), which is suitable for cross-cultural marketing strategies. However, it is important to note down in this context that using internet technology for marketing depends on the number of internet users in the area of the company that does marketing. As business-to-consumer internet marketing flourished in the USA, it may not help in the countries like India and China, in which internet users are less when compared to the population of the customers. Hence, the using internet technology for strategies in cross cultural marketing, the pre existing conditions should be taken into consideration. Crosier Keith (2006) mentions the high rate of internet penetration to use the technology for marketing strategies. The author talks about the credit payment system and the presence of efficient delivery services. The above systems work efficiently in the presence of internet penetration as well as good transportation infrastructure. However, the transportation infrastructure may not be good in all the countries the companies are operating and the strategies and network should be maintained in the way that can overcome transportation deficiencies. Hence, to develop online business on the lines of cross cultural perspectives, the companies should take care of transportation network as well as facilities. 4
While talking about cross cultural strategies, according to Mujtaba Bahaudin (1999), marketing ethics has received much attention in the corporate world in the media as well as in academic research. Mujtaba (1999) quotes Nill and Shultz (1997) who aregued that the marketing ethics must address the moral beliefs and value systems of different nations and cultures and can be termed as the part of the cross cultural marketing strategies. The globalization of markets demand a search for global ethics and that resulted in cross cultural marketing strategies. The important aspect is about the opinions of Nill and Shultz (1997) that contended about the cultural clash and conflicting situations. Hence, to make cross cultural marketing strategies a success, an ethical approach that enables decision making in cross cultural marketing strategies is necessary. Mujtaba repeatedly quotes Nil and Shultz (1997) about the collective reasoning by stakeholders regarding marketing strategies in different cultural environments. In the above context, the cultural training and suggestions comes to the fore and gathering of information before framing the marketing strategies will be crucial for the companies operating in different cultural environments. The author quotes the marketing strategies of Nestle about the cross cultural marketing strategies. According to Mujraba, Nestle acted as a cultural change agent and the company introduced new idea into every new culture. Mujtaba quotes Murray, Gazda and Molenaar (1993) about the focus on the international marketing strategies that compel the cross cultural marketing strategies. 5
Framing Cross Cultural Marketing Strategies and Response for it
While considering cross cultural marketing strategies for international organizations, Sekhar Misra (1999) talks about the loneliness and the people’s response to it. Author links the marketing literature regarding cross cultural marketing to loneliness and talks about consumer behavior. It means that the cross cultural marketing activities and strategies should convey the message of ending loneliness of the people by being in line with the people of other countries using that product and services. In the above context Misra explains loneliness as the one that arises due to deficiency of individual social interactions. Hence according to Misra, the messages of cross cultural marketing strategies should increase social interaction with the consumers and have to attract them towards the company.
He quotes another definition as being feeling lonely in a crowd. Hence, the message of cross cultural marketing should make the consumer to feel that he is accompanied by the company that is marketing the product or the service. The author mentions the methods and standards to measure loneliness that help in framing the strategies of cross cultural marketing techniques. By taking into consideration the fact mentioned in the article that loneliness is the multifaceted phenomenon that demands multi dimensional approach for cross cultural marketing strategies. Hence, according to Misra’s argument, marketing strategists have to estimate the dissatisfaction and satisfaction ranges of the people in an area the company selected for marketing its products. The satisfactory and dissatisfactory scales vary between the cultures. Misra links loneliness to consumer behavior and the strategies used by individuals to cope with the loneliness can be used to convey the messages in cross cultural marketing strategies. As loneliness affects the shopping, television viewing, internet usage, alcohol consumption and brand switching the estimation of loneliness in people can help in framing strategies of cross cultural marketing strategies and the response of people to them. However, the cross cultural marketing strategies should be changed for different countries as well as different cultures as the scale of loneliness varies between different cultures and countries. Misra quotes that the culture is important in dealing with the people by enabling the marketing strategists to understand the techniques regarding problem solving in the social context. As the social contexts depend on the culture, the strategies also depend on them. Misra quotes Pretorius (1993) that talk about the loneliness of college students of South Africa, which is higher than the North American College Students. Hence, the marketing strategies should be different in the above mentioned cases of college students as their loneliness standards vary from each other. In addition to loneliness level, the life satisfaction also plays a major role in framing marketing strategies according to Misra. He quotes the difference between the life satisfaction levels between Japan and Australia and underlines the differences between marketing strategies regarding cross cultural differences between the above mentioned countries. However, Misra differentiates individualism from loneliness and talks about individualism in western culture as well as competitiveness. As the individuality decides the feeling of loneliness, the loneliness, life satisfaction and individualism of people having certain cultural identity, they decide the nature of cross cultural marketing strategies. 6
The next aspect in the cross cultural marketing activities is to develop relationship with the customer and marketing strategists should develop a relationship with the customers for retention. The important aspect is that the cultural perspectives play an important role in developing relationship with the customer. Oliver Richard (1998) quotes that the logistics and communication technologies of the company should help the marketing strategists to retain customers by developing relationships with them. In the book ‘Shape of Things to come: 7 Imperatives for Winning in the New World of Business’, Oliver talks about the demands of sophisticated customers regardless of the place they were located. Hence, the author tells that the customers’ demands may not change but the way of approaching them to attract them towards the company may result in framing marketing strategies that involve cultural perspectives. The innovative ways to streamline the entire customer value process using cross cultural marketing strategies may result in developing customer-company relationship. In addition to that the customers develop a relationship with the company when the service is good for the product they bought. Hence, while offering services, the marketing strategists may use cultural aspects in marketing strategies and even bypassing of wholesalers and distributors may help in developing relationship with the customers. In some cultures like India and China, the customers have a feeling that the bypassing of wholesalers may result in slashing of prices and the author quotes WalMart that bypasses the wholesalers for the retail sale. Hence, the customer-company relationship can be made possible with cross cultural marketing strategies that differ for different countries. 7
According to Simon Knox (2001) customer relationship management (CRM) has its roots in relationship marketing that is based on cross cultural marketing. Simon quotes the fact that the companies observed five percent increase in customer retention due to their relationship with the company that is a result of marketing strategies that reflect cultural perspectives of the consumers. Simon quotes that the cultural perspective marketing that develops customer-company relationship results in long run profitability by shifting transaction based marketing. Simon talks about the development theory in relationship marketing that is a combination of business process and technology that seeks to understand a company’s customer from the perspective of what they are and the nature of their culture. In the above context, the company treats the customers as important assets and divides the customers according to the profitability variation. As a result, CRM gives the company an opportunity to implement relationship marketing through cultural marketing strategies on company-wide basis. However, the CRM will be successful when the technology used for marketing is rightly combined with cultural perspective of marketing. Simon Knox quotes other elements that link sales staff with cultural marketing strategies. One of the aspects that are quoted by Simon is data mining, which is useful in gaining information used in framing marketing strategies from cultural perspective. 8
Marketing of Western Companies in Asia
The important aspect that can be discussed in cross cultural marketing is the strategies adopted by Western Multi National Companies to market their products and services in Asian countries. The cross cultural marketing took shape in the context of cross-border movement of funds and transfer of human talent and technology. The interaction of the home country managers with the customers of the target country will be the source for the cross cultural marketing in Asian countries. Chong 2002 quotes Hofstede (1984), Schein (1992), Trompenaars (1994), and Bolman and Deal (1991, 1995) regarding the need of cultural context in studies regarding managerial practices of marketing. The author talks about culture, nationality and managerial practices and quotes Hofstede (1991) who defined the cultural marketing as collective programming. The important aspect that Hofstede identifies regarding cultural aspect of marketing is to distinguish members of one group from another. This is the first step in cross cultural marketing and the second step is identifying the values formed the core of the culture. The next step is the challenge posed while taking culture as a variable when the company is framing marketing strategies in different countries. As the culture is different from Western countries and Asian countries, it is different between Asian countries also. Chong quotes about the hierarchy of culture within a national culture, which is seen in the countries like India in Asia. Hence, while framing cross-cultural marketing in Asian countries, the company should consider not only different strategies for different countries but also different strategies for different areas of a country in Asia. The diversity of culture in Asian countries compels the companies to frame different strategies within a country. Hence, the above aspect is significant while marketing products or services in Asia. The next step in cross cultural marketing in Asian countries is cross-cultural managerial assessment quoted by Chong (2002). The author talks about the impact of cultural differences on managerial appraisal process and research of cultural implications of performance. Chong quotes Chen and Di Tomaso (1996) about research on cross cultural perspectives helps in supervisory control and performance standards of marketing strategies. 9
Loyalty in Cross Cultural Marketing
While marketing in Asia, loyalty cards are important as the customers in this area expect a special treatment from the company in which they shop regularly. Hence, number of retailer companies introduced loyalty cards in 1990s and gained advantage in the market. Mauri Chiara quotes the tangible evidence of what some authors have termed as ‘The marketing Information Revolution’ and provided a clear signal of the great thirst for customer knowledge. Hence offering knowledge to the customer according to his culture and the product or service marketed is important in cross cultural marketing in Asian countries. The author talks about retail managers in the article who use knowledge acquired through loyalty cards to strengthen store loyalty, which is a part of marketing strategies with cultural perspective. As offering of loyalty cards and interaction with the customers while issuing them will help the marketing managers to build stronger relationships. Mauri terms this as the basic idea behind the efforts of firm’s performance. As the profit is related to the loyalty of the existing customers, Mauri feels that the intimate relationships with the customers using marketing strategies of cultural perspective can help in identifying as well as retaining the customers for the company thus a guarantee market for the products or services. Another aspect in Mauri’s article is about continuous updating of knowledge through tracking customers as well as interacting with them. As the responses differ between customers, the loyalty cards can help the company to frame an ideal tool for activating one to one marketing approach that is critical link between international strategies in Asian region. The marketing strategies that involve the cultural aspects develop local marketing actions and micro levels of the organization can be developed in the area. As a result Mauri quotes about the change of cold data of consumer to the warm relationship with the customer by the help of cross cultural marketing strategies. As the warm relationship is a learning relationship, Mauri quotes Pine, Peppers and Rogers (1995), about learning of consumer behavior with loyalty cards and cross cultural marketing strategies.10
Chambers, Larry (Author). Credibility Marketing: Build Your Business by Becoming a Recognized Expert (Without Investing a Lot of Time or Money). Chicago, IL, USA: Dearborn Trade, A Kaplan Professional Company, 2001.
Marconi, Joe (Author). Future Marketing : Targeting Seniors, Boomers and Generations X and Y. Black lick, OH, USA: McGraw-Hill Trade, 2000.
Eechambadi, Naras (Author). High Performance Marketing : Bringing Method to the Madness of Marketing. Chicago, IL, USA: Dearborn Trade, A Kaplan Professional Company, 2005.
Jun Yu, Marketing to Chinese Consumers on Internet, Volume 24, Number 4, and Bradford, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2006.
Crosier, Keith (Author). Marketing to China in China and from China. Bradford, , UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2006.
Mujtaba Bahaudin, Cross Cultural Marketing Ethics: Literature Review and Training Suggestions, All Business, Published in 1993. Web.
Shekhar Misra, Cross Cultural Variations in Loneliness: Implications for Marketing, marketing.byu.edu, Published in 1999. Web.
Oliver, Richard W. (Author). Shape of Things to Come : 7 Imperatives for Winning in the New World of Business. Black lick, OH, USA: McGraw-Hill Professional Book Group, 1998.
Simon Knox, Cross-Functional Issues in the Implementation of Relationship Marketing Through Customer Relationship Management (CRM), European Management Journal, Published in 2001. Web.
Eric Chong, MANAGERIAL COMPETENCY APPRAISAL: A CROSS-CULTURAL STUDY OF AMERICAN AND EAST ASIAN MANAGERS, University of Wellington, Published in 2002. Web.
Mauri, Chiara,Card Loyalty. A New Emerging Issue In Grocery Retailing(February 2001). SDA Bocconi, Research Division, Working Paper No. 01-42. Web.
- Chambers, Larry (Author). Credibility Marketing: Build Your Business by Becoming a Recognized Expert (Without Investing a Lot of Time or Money). Chicago, IL, USA: Dearborn Trade, A Kaplan Professional Company, 2001.
- Marconi, Joe (Author). Future Marketing: Targeting Seniors, Boomers and Generations X, and Y. Black lick, OH, USA: McGraw-Hill Trade, 2000.
- Eechambadi, Naras (Author). High-Performance Marketing: Bringing Method to the Madness of Marketing. Chicago, IL, USA: Dearborn Trade, A Kaplan Professional Company, 2005.
- Crosier, Keith (Author). Marketing to China in China and from China. Bradford, , UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2006.
- Mujtaba Bahaudin, Cross Cultural Marketing Ethics: Literature Review and Training Suggestions, All Business, Published in 1993. Web.
- Shekhar Misra, Cross Cultural Variations in Loneliness: Implications for Marketing, marketing.byu.edu, Published in 1999. Web.
- Oliver, Richard W. (Author). Shape of Things to Come : 7 Imperatives for Winning in the New World of Business. Black lick, OH, USA: McGraw-Hill Professional Book Group, 1998.
- Simon Knox, Cross-Functional Issues in the Implementation of Relationship Marketing Through Customer Relationship Management (CRM), European Management Journal, Published in 2001. Web.
- Eric Chong, MANAGERIAL COMPETENCY APPRAISAL: A CROSS-CULTURAL STUDY OF AMERICAN AND EAST ASIAN MANAGERS, University of Wellington, Published in 2002. Web.
- Mauri, Chiara, Card Loyalty. A New Emerging Issue in Grocery Retailing (2001). SDA Bocconi, Research Division, Working Paper No. 01-42. Web.